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Wednesday, 23 May 2012



File:Dionysus Sarcophagus.jpg

Dionysus sarcophagus: Hellenistic sculpture, artist unknown; image by Haiduc, October 2007 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Age this wandering
through a museum
of consequence
and fortune
takes responsibility
for nothing
that happens along the way.

File:Dionisos plate Barcelona.jpg

Dionysos on an earthen plate
: artist unknown, between 550 and 600 AD; image by Léna, 14 July 2011


Conrad DiDiodato said...

I'm reminded of Holden Caulfield's love of museums as a place where things lie frozen, incapable of changing & disappointing...

TC said...


I take it you mean this bit:

"The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move. You could go there a hundred times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and their pretty, skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket. Nobody'd be different. The only thing that would be different would be you.

"Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that's impossible, but it's too bad anyway."

However this poem seems to entertain a POV diametrically opposed to Holden's -- the view from, one might say, the other half of the hour hour glass, if it were suddenly turned upside down and filled with rue and mounted on marble rollers like those supporting the Dionysus sarcophagus, shaken round a bit and then broken open and the granulated contents scattered at large upon a field of rye.

ACravan said...

I've been staring at this all morning, trying to put myself in young Dionysus' place. He looks blankly handsome, like a celebrity's child in People magazine, taking responsibility for nothing, but you really can't blame him because he makes no pretense that he isn't two-dimensional. I love this sequence. Curtis

Conrad DiDiodato said...


you're response is a poetical tour de force

TC said...

It may have been all very well for Dionysus to act that way when he was young, but...

Nin Andrews said...

I think it's the usual response, no matter what age . . .

The responsible one spoils the party.

Those Greeks sure know how to show us who we are, were, will be . . . to such perfection.



A curious synchronicity (of our parallel universes) in today's poem, which was written before I ever saw your meditation on "wandering through a museum" --


light coming into sky above still black
plane of ridge, branches moving in wind
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

over which in this relation
dwells, a consequence

that is, thing that is like
that place, within it

first silver of sun rising above ridge,
line of pelicans flapping toward point

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

“Those Greeks sure know how to show us who we are, were, will be . . . to such perfection.”
Nin’s words so ironic in the context of the current situation vis-à-vis the Greeks: Without completely exonerating my countrymen of the vices which have brought us to our current condition, I can’t help but thinking our once-great little country is now being used by larger, more “responsible” forces as a guinea pig in an experiment aimed at seeing just how long
we can survive on their regimen of diet after diet of austerity measures aimed at bringing us to hitherto unimagined heights of degradation,